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Petits Succès: A Positive Perspective in Paris

February 09, 2017
by Hannah Kersey
Orientation week is packed full of information about the process of studying abroad in Paris. We have gone through a health & safety session, an academic orientation session, a general living abroad session, and a cultural adaptation session, but one thing that stood out to me that the CEA staff recommended was to recognize our small successes. This piece of advice has already served me well because it has shifted my perspective towards positivity during a week of many firsts.
 A boat tour on the Seine with my fellow CEA students! Very chilly but so worth it.

It is very easy to be hard on yourself, especially in the first few weeks of studying abroad, you'll make countless failures throughout the day. For example, my roommate and I went the complete opposite direction from our apartment the second day here in Paris for at least ten minutes before realizing our mistake. The language, new geography, different culture, and complicated forms of transportation are many leading factors to these failures so it is very important when we make a success, however small, to recognize and reward ourselves. On the first day, I found my apartment door (which has no identifying numbers) all by myself. On the second day, I ordered a croissant and an espresso in my broken French and actually received a croissant and an espresso! The third day, I bought a metro card a loaded money for next month. These are all simple, and I realize that that, but they help me realize that I am progressing. Study abroad is very much a process and no process is complete without heartache and frustrations, but I think perspective is vital to move forward.
 Learning to cook with new friends in a new city.
 Crêpes, croissants, and café galore!

My new friends and I have been trying to experience as much as possible these first few days and have already learned a few lessons about planning ahead and communicating clearly. It can be a bit frustrating and I have often felt a little defeated that I am not adapting as quickly as I thought, but I am extending grace upon myself to progress and learn because after all that is what I came here to do. Here's to a semester of learning about a new culture, living in new ways, and keeping a positive perspective!
 The icon of Paris--la Tour Eiffel. It will never get old.

Hannah K. is the Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger in Paris, France. She is currently a Sophomore studying Entrepreneurship at Belmont University. 

Hannah Kersey is the Spring 2017 CEA MOJO Blogger in Paris, France in Paris, France, and is currently studying at Belmont University.
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